Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 18 January 2017
Everyone has different experience when staying in a hostel. Some pleasant, some unpleasant. So it’s always good to know and exchange tips with fellow travelers. Meet Gracia! She’s kind enough to share some of her tips of what you can do when staying at a hostel, especially when traveling alone.
Are you a backpacker? If yes, then a place to stay overnight that is convenient and inexpensive must be your choice when traveling. But sometimes even a budget hotel room can be over your budget. Well, that’s what hostels are for. In general, a hostel charges you less than a hotel. That and the whole ambience are very suitable for backpackers. At least, that’s how I feel after staying in a hostel.
The facilities are certainly not as complete as a hotel in general, but to me it’s comfortable enough for taking a rest after a full day of traveling.
Some of you may still question about how safe or comfortable it is to stay in a hostel. Here are some tips from me as first timer staying in hostel that might help you get cozy in a hostel:
It is a must because you will share at least the common room with other guests. If you’re staying in the dorm room, you’ll be sharing a room with three, six, even 12 other people. You can chat about anything with the other guests. The easiest and most common topics would be about the weather, your place of origin, where you’ve traveled and where you’ll be traveling next. I met and chatted with a French guest and it turned out so fun. We exchanged stories about the local food, our personal hobbies, and many more. Though very light, chit chats help to make friends. In case there’s a problem in your room, your new friend might just be able to help. Plus, you won’t get so lonely.
Hostels normally provide a locker for each guest to keep their belongings especially in dorm rooms. Some provide lockers for free, some charge you too.
Because hostels are meant for backpackers, they don’t expect you to come with suitcases, so the lockers in general only fit a medium to big size backpacks. Some lockers aren’t even that big because they expect you to only keep valuable stuff, like your gadgets or money in the locker, and keep the backpack, say, under your bunk bed. Due to the limited space, it is better that you don’t unpack your luggage. Just arrange your stuff based on what you will use more often at the easiest spot to get. This will also help you repack easier before checking out. The shoes and sandals can be kept at the shoe rack, normally provided in front of the room or outside the building. Always remember your personal area is just the bed and the locker.
Most hostels include breakfast in the room rate. Although the menu is usually just bread with jam, and least likely the best kind, taking the provided breakfast helps you save budget. It’s usually served from very early morning, which means you can go out early for some exploring too. Not only it saves you money, it saves time as well for the early birds.
Beside the room and its complements, some hostels also have TV, wifi, books, iron, and other facilities you can use for free. These facilities normally can be found in the common area, but wifi is usually for use anywhere. You can ask the staff or other guests about this. Power outlet is usually on the side of each bed.
Most hostels only provide shared bathrooms. Some separate the ladies’ and gents’ bathrooms, some don’t. The bathrooms are simply stalls of showers, stalls of toilets, and also washbowl area. I’ve stayed in a hostel where lights and hot water had to be turned on and off by ourselves. Because the bathrooms are for shared usage, make sure you don’t shower use them too long, just as effective as you can, because there may be other people waiting. Last but not least, don’t forget to keep it clean.
Just like hotels, most hostels’ check-out time is around noon. However, sometimes you still want to go around in town until, say, evening before going home or to the next destination. If carrying your backpack would be a hassle, you can deposit your bags at the reception before checking out. Then pick it up after your agenda is done. Check with the staff about the rules of bags deposit, such as how long they can keep them for you. Don’t be worried, they usually keep the bags in a locked room and usually it’s for free.
There is, indeed, more effort to stay in this kind of hostel because we’re not as free as the way we stay in hotels. For me staying in hostel is fun, I can see and learn many things and get close with new people. I really enjoy it and maybe will choose hostel as a priority for my next backpacking. Hopefully you also feel good when stay in hostel.